Glendale News Press
By: Kelly Corrigan
September 16, 2014
Glendale school officials this week released answers to 63 questions posed by parents and residents during a PTA meeting last month at Mountain Avenue Elementary about the possible transfer of an area called the Sagebrush territory to the La Cañada Unified school district.
For more than a year, Glendale and La Cañada school officials have been in negotiations over transferring 385 acres to La Cañada Unified, and many residents are still raising questions over how the transfer could affect both districts in terms of student enrollment and revenue loss.
At the meeting in August, no one could ask questions in the public setting, though they could speak with Glendale Unified officials one-on-one. Instead attendees were asked to write out their questions, and school officials said they would answer them at a later date.
One question asked how much Glendale Unified has spent, so far, on the Sagebrush issue. As of July, the school district has spent $74,000 in general-fund dollars on attorneys, a financial analysis of the transfer’s implications and a survey to seek input from Sagebrush residents, according to the document.
Another question asked what Glendale Unified spent in fees during its most recent legal battle over Sagebrush that ended in 2000.
“We have tried to research this question and are unable to provide an answer,” Glendale school officials responded in the document. “The records from that period of time are not available and the legal firm that was utilized at the time is no longer in existence.”
The financial analysis the district paid for was completed by School Services of California last September, and indicated that Glendale Unified would stand to lose $1,751 per Sagebrush student it currently serves — and school officials say there are roughly 350 students in the Sagebrush area.
Therefore, the annual financial impact with that estimate would be $612,850.
However, Glendale Unified Supt. Dick Sheehan has publicly expressed his disagreement with that estimated loss.
Instead, Glendale Unified officials say they would lose about $7,200 per Sagebrush student, so the total would be $2.52 million using their calculation.
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